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Strengths and limitations of a tool for monitoring and evaluating First Peoples' health promotion from an ecological perspective

Rowley, Kevin, Doyle, Joyce, Johnston, Leah, Reilly, Rachel, McCarthy, Leisa M., Marika, Mayatili, Riley, Therese, Atkinson, Petah, Firebrace, Bradley, Calleja, Julie and Cargo, Margaret (2015). Strengths and limitations of a tool for monitoring and evaluating First Peoples' health promotion from an ecological perspective. BMC Public Health,15(Article No. 1215).

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 81144320xPUB191
NHMRC Grant No. 1049086
Title Strengths and limitations of a tool for monitoring and evaluating First Peoples' health promotion from an ecological perspective
Author Rowley, Kevin
Doyle, Joyce
Johnston, Leah
Reilly, Rachel
McCarthy, Leisa M.
Marika, Mayatili
Riley, Therese
Atkinson, Petah
Firebrace, Bradley
Calleja, Julie
Cargo, Margaret
Journal Name BMC Public Health
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 15
Issue Number Article No. 1215
ISSN 1471-2458   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84949254706
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd.
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Background
An ecological approach to health and health promotion targets individuals and the environmental determinants of their health as a means of more effectively influencing health outcomes. The approach has potential value as a means to more accurately capture the holistic nature of Australian First Peoples’ health programs and the way in which they seek to influence environmental, including social, determinants of health.

We report several case studies of applying an ecological approach to health program evaluation using a tool developed for application to mainstream public health programs in North America – Richard’s ecological coding procedure.


We find the ecological approach in general, and the Richard procedure specifically, to have potential for broader use as an approach to reporting and evaluation of health promotion programs. However, our experience applying this tool in academic and community-based program evaluation contexts, conducted in collaboration with First Peoples of Australia, suggests that it would benefit from cultural adaptations that would bring the ecological coding procedure in greater alignment with the worldviews of First Peoples and better identify the aims and strategies of local health promotion programs.

Establishing the cultural validity of the ecological coding procedure is necessary to adequately capture the underlying program activities of community-based health promotion programs designed to benefit First Peoples, and its collaborative implementation with First Peoples supports a human rights approach to health program evaluation.
Keywords Health promotion
First Peoples
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Determinants of health
DOI   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Description for Link Link to CC Attribution 4.0 License

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